Football World Cup trophy designer Silvio Gazzaniga dies at 95

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Silvio Gazzaniga, the Italian sculptor who designed the World Cup trophy, has died at the age of 95. This was disclosed by Gazzaniga’s son, Giorgio, who said his father passed away in his sleep at home in Milan.

“He just didn’t wake up this morning. It was a peaceful death,” Giorgio Gazzaniga told The Associated Press on Monday, October 31. According to Giorgio, his father had been in the hospital recently for a series of minor ailments. Reacting to Gazzaniga’s death, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “The World Cup is a mythic object for the players and for all football lovers. “We will be eternally grateful. I express my condolences by joining the pain of the family.” FIFA’s website also quoted what Gazzaniga said after he designed the World Cup.

“The 18-carat solid gold trophy weighs approximately six kilograms (13 pounds). It depicts a moment of joy: two players celebrating with their arms outstretched and a globe resting on the backs of their shoulders. “The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world.

Korir and Daska claim convincing victories in Mainova Frankfurt

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Kenyan Mark Korir and Mamitu Daska of Ethiopia claimed convincing victories at the 35th Mainova Frankfurt Marathon, an IAAF Gold Label Road Race, on Sunday (30).

In the men's race, Korir won a three-way battle in 2:06:48, more than 30 seconds clear of compatriots Martin Kosgei and Cybrian Kotut. In the women's contest, Daska collected her second Frankfurt victory in 2:25:27, dramtically fending off a late-race challenge by Germany's Fate Tola.

A lead group of eight was guided by three pacemakers through the first half in 1:02:58, according to the pre-race plan. In the 27th kilometre, Ethiopia’s Tadesse Tola, the fastest in field with a PB of 2:04:49, was the first to drift back, leaving Korir, Kotut, Kosgei, Birhanu Achamie of Ethiopia and pacemaker Vincent Rono at the front at 30 kilometres, reached in 1:30:09. Korir upped the tempo, dropping Achamie and the pacesetter.

Korir, the 2015 Paris Marathon winner, began his decisive attack with five kilometres remaining, and was never significantly threatened en route to the race's dazzling indoor finish area in Frankfurt's Festhalle.

In the women's race, as expected the Ethiopian pair of Mamitu Daska and Sutume Asefa Kebede established an early lead. Their early tempo suggested a possible attack on the course record of 2:21:01, set in 2012 by fellow-Ethiopian Meselech Melkamu.

Daska was clearly struggling from the 35th kilometre, where she had an advantage of 2:40. "It was my aim to win the race, but it was getting really tough because of the problems," she'd later say.

Slowing dramatically, her lead was cut to 1:24 five kilometres later. Continuing to fade even as Tola pressed on, Daska still held on for the win, holding off the challenger by 15 seconds. Had the race been some 300 metres longer, the finishing order would have been reversed.

"I could have run 15 seconds faster, but I did not see Mamitu Daska early enough," said Tola, who clocked 2:25:42. Nonetheless, she wasn't disappointed. "It was a great race for me, I am really happy.“

Jepkosgei shatters women course record in Col de la Gineste

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In the women’s contest, Jepkosgei produced a dominating performance to win in 1:07:00.

No one could sustain her pace and she never faded, even on the challenging Col de la Gineste, as she forged on to lower the previous course record, set by Kenya’s Mercy Kibarus in 2012, by 54 seconds.

It should be noted that last year’s winner, Peres Jepchirchir, ran faster, prevailing in Cassis in 1:06:01. But the course was shortened by about 400 metres due to road works near the start line in Marseille.

With her victory Jepkosgei extended the Kenyan winning streak in the women’s race to seven editions.

Her compatriot Parendis Lekapana was a distant second in 1:09:25 as Ethiopia’s Godfay Afera rounded the podium in 1:10:20.

The race began in cool and sunny conditions, but temperatures later reached nearly 25 C in the finishing area at the port de Cassis. Approximately 15,000 runners entered the race.

Harambee Starlets lose to Indomitable Lionesses by a solitary goal.

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Kenya's Harambee Starlets lost to Indomitable Lionesses despite the home field advantage, by a solitary goal on the Saturday of 22nd october 2016, at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani.

Starlets were a force to recon with in the first few minutes, but failed to put the ball behind the net and little did they know it would haunt them later.

After settling for a goaless first half, the Indomitable Lionesses came back pressing hard, and their efforts bore fruit in the 64th minute after Christine Maine confidently converted a penalty. They held the one goal advantage upto the last whisle of the game beating Kenya with a solitary goal.

The Starlets are looking foward for better results when they face Egypt on the Friday of 28th October 2016 at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani.

Kenya and Cameroon have only met seven times before; the first encounter having been way back in 1972 during the Africa Cup of Nations group games. The last of the seven games was a 1998 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier held in 1997.

Of the seven meetings between the two, three of the games have been during the Africa Cup of Nations Group games – in 1972, 1998 and 1990. Kenya lost two of those and managed a barren draw during the 1988 clash in Morocco.

Jepchumba retains her 2016 momentum to dominate in Cardiff

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Violah Jepchumba kept her stellar 2016 momentum alive with a dominant victory at the Cardiff University Cardiff Half Marathon, an IAAF Bronze Label Road Race, in the Welsh capital on Sunday (2).

Running alone almost from the gun, the 25-year-old Kenyan clocked 1:08:14 for her fifth victory in as many road races this year, finishing well inside the previous race record of 1:01:10 set by Susan Partridge in 2012.

Expectations were high for Jepchumba, who threatened Florence Kiplagat's 1:05:09 world record with a blistering 1:05:51 run in Prague in April, and who, in her most recent outing, came within three seconds of Paula Radcliffe's 10km world record with a 30:24 run, also in Prague, 22 days ago.

In Cardiff, Jepchumba forged an assault on Kiplagat's mark early on, passing through five kilometres in 15:30. But with no company, she wasn't able to maintain the brisk tempo, slowing to 31:30 at 10 kilometres and further to 48:02 after 15.

Crossing the 20-kilometre marker in 1:04:50, she cruised on to her fourth half marathon victory of 2016, beating Flomena Cheyech Daniel, the Commonwealth marathon champion, by nearly two minutes. Cheyech clocked 1:10:05 with Lenah Jerotich, the 2015 Cardiff winner, completing the Kenyan podium sweep in third, running 1:11:23.

There was a Kenyan podium sweep and race record in the men's race too.

Shadrack Korir made his break with about two kilometres remaining to win in 1:00:54, a near two-minute improvement on his previous best of 1:02:40 and well under the 1:01:51 race record set by Loitarakwai Lengurisi in 2013.

Cyprian Kotut, this year's Paris Marathon winner, was second in 1:01:04, with 20-year-old Charles Muneria, a Kenyan Olympian at 5000m this year, third in 1:01:36 on his debut over the distance.

Nearly 22,000 runners took part in the race that looped through the Welsh capital on the same course that was used for this year's IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.

Chepchirchir breaks Course Record at the Rock 'n' Roll Lisbon Marathon EDP

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Sarah Chepchirchir of Kenya broke the course record at the Rock 'n' Roll Lisbon Marathon EDP to highlight a busy day of IAAF Gold Label Road Race action in the Portuguese capital on Sunday (2).

The 30-year-old clocked 2:24:12 to eclipse the previous course standard by nearly a minute while shattering her own lifetime best by nearly six.

In the morning's other three races, also IAAF Gold Label events, Kenyan Alfred Kering won the men's marathon in 2:10:27, while Nguse Amlosom of Eritrea and Genet Yalew of Ethiopia took the half marathon titles, clocking 1:02:39 and 1:10:25 respectively.

The women’s race began with a balanced pace, with a group of five still in contention at the midway point, reached in 1:12:23. Ethiopian Shanko Genemo, who was gunning for her third marathon triumph of 2016, was forced to drop out just beyond the half, leaving four Kenyans to battle for the win: Chepchirchir, Brigid Kosgei, Esther Ndiema and Rose Chepchumba.

Midway through the race’s second half, Chepchirchir and Kosgei dropped the other pair with Chepchirchir making her decisive break in the closing kilometres to easily take down the previous course record of 2:25:09.

Behind her, Kosgei notched a big personal best as well, clocking 2:24:45 for second place, finishing inside the previous course record. Her performance was also a big improvement on her previous lifetime best of 2:27:45 set when winning April’s Milan Marathon. Ndiema was a distant third in 2:31:41.

In relative terms, the men’s race wasn’t nearly as fast.

After an opening half of 1:04:07, Alfred Kering pulled away in the latter stages to win comfortably in 2:10:27, well ahead of Reuben Kerio, who clocked 2:11:09.

Seboka Nigusse closed well to clock 2:11:42 and dash the hopes for a Kenyan double podium sweep.

Harambee Stars Edge Out Host DRC in a 1-0 victory in Kinsasha

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Kenya’s Harambee Stars edged out hosts DR Congo 1-0 in an international friendly played in Kinshasa on Tuesday night.

The visitors were without the services of Tottenham Hotspur star Victor Wanyama after consultations between his club and the national team coach.

Congo were in complete control in the opening 45 minutes, as the Kenyans struggled to settle down with goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch proving his worth by pulling off a couple of fine saves to keep the hosts at bay.

Stars were better after the break and eventually got a breakthrough after 65 minutes when Michael Olunga slotted home from close range after Paul Were’s stinging strike had crashed against the upright.

The visitors managed to see out the final 25 minutes to secure the victory which was also the team’s first away win under coach Stanley Okumbi.

Cameroon Player song fights for his life after suffering stroke

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Former West Ham and Liverpool footballer Rigobert Song is critically ill in hospital after suffering a severe stroke. The 40-year-old was raced to hospital in Yaounde, Cameroon, yesterday with a brain aneurysm.

The married father of four was at his home in the Odza district of the Cameroonian city when he suffered the stroke.

The Premier League star, whose nephew is ex-Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, is a super star in his home country of Cameroon, having captained the national team. He currently serves as head coach of Chad’s national team. The Cameroon ex international player was rushed to hospital in a critical condition Song was bought by Liverpool in 1999 for £2.7million but made just 35 appearances for them before moving to West Ham the following year. He also played for Turkish team Galatasaray for four years before retiring from the game six years ago. The player’s former team mates flocked to social media offer their support for the star.

The player is a celebrity in his home country of Cameroon as he captained the national team Jamie Carragher also showed his support for the star, Tweeting: “Hope everything ends up ok for #rigobertsong”, despite Carragher’s 2008 autobiography revealing the two did not always see eye to eye and he had once hard tackled Song during a practice because he had teased him. The news comes after ex-Bolton Wanderers striker Ivan Klasnic was last week left fighting for his life after his kidney transplant failed.

Uganda Beat Namibia to lift Africa Cup Sevens Championship

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Uganda were crowned Africa Cup Sevens champions, beating Namibia 38-19 in the cup final at the Safaricom Stadium in Nairobi on Saturday. Ssebuliba Kayiwa puit Uganda ahead, scoring after a strong run and carry by Ramadhan Govule. Philip Wokorach converted for a 7-0 score.

Sunday Haitembu responded immediately with a converted try for Namibia but Pius Ogena ensured that the Rugby Cranes retook the lead, Wokorach converting for a 14-7 score.The Namibians were taking the fight to the Ugandans, Jean Jacobs grounding for an unconverted try that brought the encounter to 14-12.

Namibia would spill the ball with Uganda on the ropes, Wokorach pouncing on the loose ball to first step past his opponents before racing clear to score and convert his own try before James Odong landed for a 26-12 lead at the interval.

Odong would land his brace, fortuitously gathering the ball from Wokorach’s speculative punt, touching down before Namibia scored a consolation try, Karuuombe Nandicatu’s converted effort bringing some respectability.

Hosts Kenya finished third with a 41-0 whitewash of Madagscar as Zimbabwe edged Tunisia 14-7 to claim fifth position. Nigeria finished seventh with a 19-5 win over Morocco. A 55-0 win over Botswana saw Senegal claim ninth place as Zambia took eleventh place with a 45-0 result over Mauritius.

Shujaa beat Defending Champions Samurai to reclaim Safari 7s Crown

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Shujaa reclaimed the Safari Sevens title with a comprehensive 38-21 win over defending champions Samurai in the final played at the Safaricom Stadium on Sunday.Frank Wanyama landed scored two quickfire tries, Brian Tanga adding a conversion before scoring and converting his own try to put Shujaa 17-0 up.

Dan Sikuta would land a converted try for Samurai, the scores 17-7 at the interval.Leonard Mugaisi would react quickest to a loose ball after the restart, exploiting the space to race clear and score, Tanga adding the extras as Shujaa went 24-7 clear.

Billy Odhiambo would pile on the misery for Samurai when he touched down, Tanga’s conversion sending Shujaa 31-7 up before Samurai attempted a comeback, Dougie Fife scoring and converting his own try before converting Michael Fedo’s try to bring the scores to 31-21.

Tanga would race clear, playing in Willy Ambaka to land a converted try and confirm the full time result and reclaim the Robin Cahill trophy.

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